All students are expected to follow these guidelines while on the school campuses during the school day and on field trips unless directed otherwise. Special dress days (i.e., jeans days) will be announced by division administrators as desired. All clothing (with the exception of pants and shorts) is to be purchased from Flynn and O'Hara (F&O) or Land's End (LE). Both vendors embroider our shirts with the DC logo. The U SHOP, located at the Upper Campus in Lowrie Hall, has many acceptable used items in a variety of sizes. The administration will make the final determination regarding suitability of garments.
The Lower School Dress Code conforms to the DC Dress Code in that all shirts must be from one of the two designated vendors: Land's End or Flynn & O'Hara Uniforms.
- Footwear: Dress shoes, sneakers, or sandals only - no flip flop footwear of any type, no athletic sandals and no plastic footwear of any type.
- Legwear: Hose and tights: neutral, solid Navy, White or Hunter Green.
Leggings (calf-length or ankle length): solid Navy, White, Hunter Green, or Black with a matte finish (i.e. no shiny athletic style finish).
- Sweaters and fleeces: Navy or Hunter Green - must be worn with the shirt underneath. Fleece and vest options are available from Lands’ End.
- Sweatshirts: The Lower Campus allows any DC-logo sweatshirt to be worn.
- Shirts: Oxford shirts must be tucked in while polo shirts do not have to be tucked in. Polo shirts are required to have the school logo on them.
Polo: Hunter Green, Navy or White (short and long sleeve)
Oxford: Blue or White (short or long sleeve)
Turtlenecks: Hunter Green, Navy, or White
- Pants: Classic khaki or navy. No skinny-leg, cargo, or jean-like pants will be permitted.
- Shorts: Khaki or Navy. No cargo shorts will be permitted.
- Skorts: Khaki or Navy 2-Panel
- Jumpers: Green Plaid (F&O) or White Plaid (LE)
- Gym days: Kindergarteners, 1st and 2nd graders (only) may wear green sweat pants on their designated schedule gym day only.
No body piercing except girls' ears.
No extremes in jewelry, hairstyles or make-up. Natural hair dye colors (boys & girls).
No non-DC sweatshirts or sweatshirt jackets can be worn during the school day.
No hats can be worn during the school day.
Boys' hair should be neat, well-groomed, collar length, always out of the eyes (even when looking down), with at least 3/4 of the ear showing.
During scheduled dress-down days students should wear clothing that is appropriate, modest and self-respectful. No spaghetti straps or belly shirts. No short shorts. Clothes should fit appropriately, not too big or too small.
The Middle School and Upper School Dress Code conforms to the DC Dress Code in that all shirts must be from one of the two designated vendors: Land's End or Flynn & O'Hara Uniforms.
- Footwear: Dress shoes, sneakers, or sandals – no flip flops or athletic sandals
Hose and tights: neutral, solid Navy, White, or Hunter Green.
Leggings (calf-length or longer): solid Navy, White, Gray, Hunter Green, or Black
- Sweaters: Navy or Hunter Green with DC logo - Must be worn with a DC shirt underneath.
- Fleece Vests and Jackets: Hunter Green, Navy, or Black with DC Logo
- Down Vests: Hunter Green or Navy with DC Logo (Lands' End)
- Sweatshirts: Crew neck, collared sports or hooded sweatshirt with DC logo - Must be worn with a DC shirt underneath and must be Hunter Green, Navy, Gray, or Black
- School and Co-curricular Lightweight Jackets:
- Must be worn with a dress code shirt underneath
- Administration and Athletic Director or Faculty Leader approval; the jacket must be one of the approved options or it cannot be worn during the school day
- The jacket must be made of lightweight material
- The school logo must be on the jacket
- The jacket must be one of the following colors: Hunter Green, Navy, Gray, or Black
- Shirts: Oxford shirts must be tucked in while polo shirts do not have to be tucked in. All shirts are required to have the school logo on them.
Polo: Hunter Green, Navy or White (short or long sleeve) with DC Logo
Oxford: Blue or White (short or long sleeve)
Turtlenecks: Hunter Green, Navy, or White
- Pants: Classic khaki or Navy. No skinny-leg, cargo, or jean-like pants will be permitted.
- Shorts: Khaki or Navy. Inseam no shorter than 5". No cargo shorts will be permitted.
- Skirts: Length no shorter than 4” from floor in front and back.
A-line: Khaki, Navy, or White Plaid (LE)
Kilt (Wrap Around): Green Plaid (F&O)
Pleated Skirt: Khaki or Navy (LE)
- Skort: Khaki or Navy 2-panel
- No body piercing except girls’ ears; (no “spacers” are permitted in noses, etc.)
- No tattoos
- No extremes in jewelry, hairstyles or make-up. Natural dye colors (boys & girls).
- No hats can be worn during the school day.
- Boy’s hair should be neat and well-groomed.
- Boys must be clean shaven; senior boys are permitted to have well-maintained facial hair.
- Undershirts – same colors as polo shirts – no writing on them, must not show out the bottom of your shirt (not longer than outer shirt)
- During scheduled dress-down days students should wear clothing that is appropriate, modest, and respectful. No spaghetti straps or belly shirts. No short shorts. Clothes should fit appropriately, not too big or too small and should not have rips or tears.
Standardized Dress Philosophy
Purpose Statement: The Dress Policy of DCCS will reflect the school’s identity as a Christian educational community by providing a standard which will help students balance expressions of individuality with obligations to others.
In light of DC’s mission -- to educate students who will serve God and impact the world through biblical thought and action -- what does it mean to “think biblically” about a dress policy?
A dress policy based on biblical principles does not mean that there is one set of clothing that is “Christian” and another that isn’t (i.e., there is nothing “spiritual” about a collar). Continuing attempts to resolve this matter do suggest, however, that some fundamentally sound reasons exist for providing students with guidelines for dress. A biblical approach to dress policy is one which will be neither burdensome nor legalistic; for, as Jesus teaches in Matt. 11:29-30, His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. A reasonable dress code should not frustrate the students who must abide by it, nor the faculty and administrators who must enforce it. It must be both clear and easily complied with, in order that the educational process will not be encumbered by excessive attention to dress matters. Neither should dress standards pose an undue financial hardship on parents who are struggling to provide a Christian education for their children.
A biblical approach to dress must be purposeful, designed to complement other educational and character-building efforts. One argument against any standard of dress has been that it offers only a superficial solution to what is really a matter of the heart -- a spiritual problem. While ultimately this is one of many “heart issues” students will face, we can identify various ways that God is using external means to foster students’ spiritual growth at DC.
In addressing spiritual matters, we find numerous disciplines within the Christian life which, in and of themselves, do not create a mature believer, but which do provide a framework for growth to occur. Engaging in daily devotions, participation in weekly worship services, and involvement in discipleship groups will not yield godly character if practiced with an improper attitude, but they can (and do) provide the setting for godliness to develop. At DC, students are required to memorize Scripture, take Bible courses, and attend chapel without regard to the status of their relationship with God. This is because we believe these disciplines are helpful to children as they deal with the matters of their own hearts (Prov. 22:6). While certain clothing will not by itself “create” a responsible, humble student, a dress code can present opportunities for personal growth and development of Christian character, especially when applied in an atmosphere which seeks to integrate all aspects of life from a biblical perspective.
There are two primary elements at the heart of the dress policy issue: first, the nature of the DC community; and, second, the role of fashion in today’s culture. Each can be defined in terms of the influences exerted by both Christian and secular worldviews. After examining the cultural composition of these influences, we will then explore how to properly “mix” these two elements in formulating a school dress policy.
DELAWARE COUNTY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL is defined by two cultural components; education and the family/community.
As Christians, our view of education acknowledges that, as fallen human beings, our children require boundaries and standards within which the learning process takes place. This stands in stark contrast to the secular view that children, if taught a process of inquiry alone, will naturally set their own moral standards, and, consequently, make wise choices.
Our view of the family and community acknowledges that we have been created by God for relationships, and there is a need for each individual to govern his personal behavior for the benefit of others. As Charles Colson has stated, social institutions “are not impositions on our freedom but expressions of our inherently social nature” (How Now Shall We Live?, 365). While recognizing the uniqueness of individuals created in the image of God, we acknowledge that our identities are also formed by our roles as members of families, churches, and other institutions, including schools. This contrasts with the secular worldview that autonomous human beings have no responsibility to others, except as they may choose to associate with them, and that their freedom as individuals supercedes any obligation to the group. The position we have historically assumed is that DC is a Christian educational community; therefore, as members of that community, our obligations to one another are both necessary and beneficial.
FASHION IN TODAY’S SOCIETY is influenced by the cultural components of fine art and popular culture.
As Christians, our view of the arts acknowledges the integration of the natural world (science) and human expression, based on the existence of external structures of God’s design. Within these boundaries we find our creative fulfillment, reflecting the truth and beauty authored by the Holy Spirit. A secular view of fine art sets it apart as a superior, autonomous reality. Consequently, any constraints, ranging from mathematical principles of symmetry or perspective to standards of morality and ethics, restrict the freedom of artistic expression and should be disregarded.
Our view of popular culture acknowledges the need to promote endeavors which inspire and challenge students to reach for God’s standards of truth, beauty and excellence (Phil. 4:8). In contrast, today’s secular culture encourages any activity designed to satisfy emotional or sensual desires without regard to thoughtful analysis, long-term consequences, or impact on others.
Fashion today can be described as a reflection of the secular views of both fine art and popular culture. If the autonomous notion of artistic expression is applied to fashion, then that which abandons established cultural norms or moral constraints is to be applauded and encouraged. The driving force behind the fashion industry becomes rejection of societal standards and expectations in favor of the ultimate goal of personal expression.
In summary, if the foundation of our view of Christian education is based on the need for standards, and the foundation of the fashion industry routinely rejects most standards, then it is logical for difficulties to arise when students attempt to choose garments for school that, by their very design, fall outside traditionally accepted parameters. Basic definitions (such as “What is a shoe?”) are rendered meaningless in this environment. Confusion and conflict arise when there is no mutually acceptable standard on both sides, with students, their parents, and the school at odds over specific articles of clothing on a daily basis. It is also logical to conclude that in order to reach consensus, dress choices must be pared down to a mutually acceptable selection.
The Issue of Modesty
Another casualty of the struggle between competing worldviews in our culture has been the steady erosion of the virtue of modesty. In discussing dress issues, the question of “What is modest?” is a significant sticking point.
There are two definitions of modesty; one relating to an attitude of humility, a respect for what is decent; the other, a more specific awareness of what is proper regarding sexual behavior and dress. Both are relevant to this discussion.
Modesty is a relative virtue; that is, specifics regarding modest dress will vary as styles and fashion change. Determining what is modest is, at its core, an issue of what is appropriate for the occasion; for example, “modest” swimwear would be considered “immodest” school attire. Consensus is reached when both the wearer of the clothing and those to whom it is exhibited are of one mind regarding its suitability.
While maintaining a standard of modest dress is important for both male and female students, the burden is greater for girls as a result of the natural differences between the sexes. Paying particular attention to feminine modesty is needed because of its unique impact on the relationships of male and female members of the DC community.
What may seem appropriate to a female student (and frequently her parents) is often viewed with a level of discomfort and embarrassment by others at school, including both peers and adults. The false notion that a young woman should be able to wear anything she likes regardless of the unspoken messages she is sending is one manifestation of fashion’s claim of autonomy. It is also evidence of the influence of modern feminism in training women to believe that equality with men requires them to be the same as men, thereby necessitating that they disregard and devalue feminine attributes considered weak or vulnerable. As Christians, we understand that men and women are created with equal worth and distinctly different natures, which are to be properly acknowledged and expressed.
We recognize the need to provide clear and specific guidance that will help our daughters and sons integrate the virtue of modesty into their lives. As Wendy Shalit writes, we must help our young women express their femininity as a more “transcendent, implicit quality than a crude, explicit quality” (A Return to Modesty, 97). Likewise, we must enable our young men to relate to women with the honor and respect today’s culture is denying them. Standards of dress which protect the dignity of students’ sexual identity will provide the atmosphere of freedom necessary for both male and female students to express their God-given uniqueness in an uncompromising manner.
In conclusion, as parents we understand our role as the primary influence on our children’s attitudes toward these and many other matters. We accept the task of modeling for them submission to authority, honoring standards set for the benefit of others as well as ourselves, and participating fully in the building up of the DC community. Although we may feel that the responsibility for dress choices should remain ours alone, the increasingly individualistic culture in which we live makes it necessary for us, as members of the DC community, to set aside our personal preferences and take deliberate steps; namely, to remind our students that they are part of something greater than themselves, to foster a sense of unity among them, and to reassure them that they are not alone in a world that can be at times lonely and hostile. These principles can be presented and reinforced with a thoughtfully chosen set of guidelines for school attire.
Dress Code Discipline
At DC our expectation is that parents will help their students comply with these rules and will support the faculty and administration when infractions are brought to their attention. Students should assume the responsibility to be in dress code throughout the academic day.